Bullying is always a tough topic to handle, but we as a community and a peace-seeking world need to keep talking about bullying to stop tragedies, such as the recent suicide of Hannah Smith from occurring. Of course, Hannah isn’t the only young person to commit suicide from bullying, but as a recent high-profile case we can use her story to try and stop this from happening to any more teenagers.
Bullying has been around for years and there will probably always be people who will get their kicks out of making other people feel miserable, but this doesn’t mean we have to deal with it and carry on. The more attention that is drawn to bullying, its effects and how to handle situations, the more young, talented lives we can save.
Bullying isn’t just physical hits, punches and beatings. Bullying can be emotional and psychological (in fact a number of people, myself included, feel that sometimes is the psychological hurt that stays with you for longer). I can still remember some of the things that were said to me as if it was only yesterday, but I cannot feel the physical pain any more. Although, I am not saying my experience was universal, everyone has different experiences.
In addition, the age we live in means victims of bullying cannot have any escape. Bullying used to remain in the playground or walking home from school. But nowadays, bullies can still contact their victims after school and after dark- online, on mobile phones, mobile devices and gaming devices. It can feel as though you are trapped in one small, dark, lonely corner with nowhere to run scared of going anywhere, scared of sleeping and this is not a healthy way to live.
Sometimes, like in my story, you may know the bullies. In other cases they can be in the form of trolling, faceless, online strangers but either way you do not have to suffer in silence.
- The first thing to do is not to bottle anything up- always talk about it. If someone is putting you down and making you feel depressed, the worst thing you can do is keep it to yourself. That way you are going to be repeating the pain or the haunting words in your head causing yourself more misery and suffering. Talk to someone you can trust about it, your parents, a teacher, a real friend, a family member- they will be able to help you. Telling someone won’t make the bullying worse, bullies are cowards who don’t want to be found out.
- Secondly, it’s not your fault! I cannot stress this enough. Do you know why bullies bully? Because they themselves have issues, are lonely, or the main one… they are jealous. Bullies are jealous of the people they put down, and they put you down to make themselves feel better about their own pathetic lives. You know what, my ‘geekiness’ has got me studying in the degree I want, at a brilliant university, being a journalist/editor for several different publications and I couldn’t be happier. And those braces I had, I’ve now got straight, white teeth… I’ve also, while I’m at it, got the best friends I’ve ever had. So really, bullies of secondary school, you didn’t stop me at all!
Not every case of bullying ends in, what I like to call, a success story. But the more stories we can spread, advice we can give and awareness we can raise, maybe the more success stories we can create.
Talk to someone, don’t let them knock your confidence away, strive to achieve what you want to achieve and as Christina Aguilera would say “You are beautiful no matter what they say, words can’t bring you down.”